The Couch Potato Report – June 12th, 2010
This week The Couch Potato Report peels fruit, fish, an island, and a man with no name.
If you arenít planning on watching Soccerís World Cup this weekend on CBC Television, how about a movie?!
I have several of them, starting with one about fruit called BANANAS.
The film features Juan J. Dominguez, a personal injury lawyer who works in Southern California. He is at the center of the documentary BANANAS, as he is representing twelve Nicaraguan banana labourers who are suing Dole, the world’s largest agricultural producer, for allegedly exposing thousands of field workers to a banned pesticide known to cause sterility.
BANANAS is put together as a modern day David versus Goliath story, and at times it was very, very good.
ButÖat other timesÖI was waiting for something bad to happen to these poor workers, never expecting them to receive justiceÖbecause David rarely beats Goliath in real life. Goliath always seems to have better lawyers.
BANANAS does offer us a great, albeit temporary pay offÖbut thenÖas I feared, something bad does happen and the case supervised by Juan J. Dominguez and his team comes into question.
BANANAS was interesting ñ at times ñ and I didnít completely dislike it, but ultimately I donít recommend it because the facts that come to light at the end of the movie ñ the ones that blow the case wide apart ñ is where the film should have started, not ended.
That it doesnít start there remains a shock to me.
The second film I have for you this week is FISH TANK, the British drama that won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year. It also won the British Academy Award ñ the BAFTA ñ this year for Best British Film.
Those accolades notwithstandingÖI just didnít think the film was anything special.
It was interesting at times, yes, but it isnít anything special at all!!!
FISH TANK is about Mia, a feisty, foul-mouthed 15-year old girl with a short fuse who has no problems using her fists ñ or a well placed head butt ñ to deal with anyone who gets in her way.
But everything changes for Mia when her mother brings home a new boyfriendÖa boyfriend who takes things way too far with the teenager.
FISH TANK isnít a film that features recycled cinematic clichÈs or a happy fairy tale ending, and so I could see how it would win at Cannes and take home the BAFTAÖbut I didnít care for it at all, primarily because the girl, Mia, is an awful little thing and I didnít enjoy spending time with her.
As I said, FISH TANK is interesting at times, but ultimately I didnít think that it was anything special.
Questions, you will definitely have questions after you see Martin Scorseseís SHUTTER ISLAND the first timeÖI know I did.
Admittedly, after seeing it a second time, I still had a few questionsÖprimarily, ìWhy isnít this a better film?!?î
SHUTTER ISLAND is a psychological mystery-thriller based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name. His other books include MYSTIC RIVER and GONE BABY GONE, which were also turned into films.
Drama is set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels, who is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.
An island where all is not as it seemsÖand what seems is not all.
SHUTTER ISLAND is directed by a master filmmaker, features a fantastic cast ñ full of people who can act ñ and the sets and locations are fantastic.
SoÖìWhy isnít this a better film?!?î
It is in no way awful, it won me over and completely had me locked in for a while, even the second time I watched it, but ultimately I continue to find it very unsatisfying and ñ at two-hours and eighteen minutes ñ is a bit too long.
It isnít the worst film that has come out this week, but I just canít recommend it.
Of all of this weekís releases, the one that I am most excited to own ñ and that is saying something since on of my favourite films of all time and some movies I used to watch when I was a kid with my late Father are all coming up ñ but of all of this weekís releases, I am most excited about THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON of the television series CURB YOUR ENTHUSIAM!!
And that is because, for this seventh season, Larry David managed to include a story-line that gave us a reunion of his old showÖmy favourite show of all time SEINFELD!!!
The whole arc of SEASON SEVEN was about the ìCurbî version of Larry David bringing the cast of SEINFELD back together in an attempt to reunite with his ex-wife.
And yes, all of the original stars played themselves, and their classic characters, but updated a bit.
I love CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASMÖand the addition of this SEINFELD storyline gave me something I have always wantedÖmore SEINFELD!!
If you are a fan of either show, this 2-disc set is a MUST see!!
A must see, baby!!!
Yes, SEINFELD is my favourite show of all time, and one of my favourite films is a little comedy about golf called CADDYSHACK.
THE BLU-RAY BEACON is shining on CADDYSHACK this week as it is now available in High DefinitionÖand looking and sounding great!! But, more importantly, it is still making me laugh!!
This Blu-ray features the film itself, plus the 45-minute featurette that had been available before on DVD, AND there is also a new 80-minute documentary as well!!
CADDYSHACK is a true comedy classic and I love it!!
I also love the films that Clint Eastwood stars in as the man with no name.
Eastwood starred in Sergio Leoneís Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and my Dad first introduced me to them when I was a kid.
Now, as an adult, I love them more with each viewing and continue to find something new every time I watch them.
THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY is a new three disc set that offers them up on Blu-ray with a fantastic amount of retrospective features and interviews.
But primarily, it gives us the movies, in High Definition, looking and sounding better than ever.
If you have never seen them, I easilyÖand highlyÖrecommend them!!
THE MAN WITH NO NAME TRILOGY, CADDYSHACK, THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON of the television series CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, THE WOLFMAN, SHUTTER ISLAND, and the Award Winning British film FISH TANK are all available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
The less-than-successful documentary BANANAS is only available only on DVD.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
Michael Cera from SUPER BAD and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT stars as a YOUTH IN REVOLT, Denzel Washington toplines THE BOOK OF ELI, WHEN IN ROME stars Kristin Bell and Most of Monty Python appear in NOT THE MESSIAH ñ HEíS A VERY NAUGHTY BOY.
I’m Dan Reynish. I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here again next time on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – June 12th, 2010